From Leaf to Sip

The craftsmanship behind our tea

No greater love story was ever brewed

An artform by itself, the identification and management of a tea estate is a meticulous task that requires dedication and consistency. However, even when fortunate enough to call the best quality organic tea plants your own, they will not yield a satisfactory cup of tea without the implementation of a true artisan's techniques. 

The harvest

The chosen leaves

Depending on the type of tea and the region it is grown in, it can be harvested a couple of times per year. Choosing the right harvest time is crucial to the resulting taste, owing to seasonality and the days of sunlight a tea plant can enjoy. To ensure the excellence of the final product, skilled hands aided by trained eyes pluck only unopened buds accompanied by two leaves sprouting from the springs of each tea bush.

Be it White, Green, Yellow, Oolong, Black or Puerh Tea, in addition to each harvest's reliance on the microclimates, terrain and season, one has to conduct various processing techniques. 7 steps cover the essentials, namely; wilting, bruising/rolling, oxidation, fixation, shaping, drying and curing. Rooted on the experience and knowledge that has been passed on from one generation to the next, a careful and skilled application of these processing steps is paramount to producing the perfect batch of tea.

The withering

Preparing for the long run

These chosen leaves are brought in baskets to the factory and placed on troughs to dry and wither, just as wine is deposited in casks to mature until perfection. Air is circulated to decrease their moisture content to optimum levels to enhance their aromatic appeal and flavour.

The rolling

Finding the heart of the flavour

Once the withering process is finally through and done, the withered leaves enter the third stage. It’s called rolling. They are fed to rolling machines to break their cell structures, to open their hearts and seduce them to release the natural essence contained within.

The Oxidation

Things are heating up

Next, they must go through fermentation, the process of oxidation; exposed to air which will brown them to a perfect tan. Then after being blown cold they must be blown hot. They must go through the furnace of fire, pass through a chamber of hot air, and emerge with the mettle of their flavour tried, tested and proven. It’s this that will set them apart.

The fixation

Fixing things

Fixation, or firing, involves heating the tea leaves to halt the oxidation process and preserve the desired flavour profile. Different methods are used for different tea types. For example, green tea is quickly heated to prevent oxidation, while oolong tea is partially oxidised and then fired.

Getting into shape

Looking pretty

Shaping determines the final form, whether it be tightly curled, twisted, or rolled into pearls.

The drying

We are nearly there

Drying is crucial to remove any remaining moisture from the processed leaves. It helps to stabilise the tea and prolong its shelf life. The drying methods vary depending on the tea type, ranging from traditional pan-firing to modern techniques like hot-air drying.

The Sorting and Grading

The final preparation

After drying, the tea leaves are sorted and graded based on size, appearance, and quality. This meticulous sorting process ensures consistency and helps determine the final product. Hence, depending on the type of body you would like your cuppa tohave, the sorting plays a vital role. In addition to our own tea plants, we source from dedicated tea smallholders to acquire the finest teas. These select teas are harvested in single batches that cannot be mass produced or replicated by large commercial operators. The resulting cup of tea allows you to taste each and every aspect of the selection, making the single estate tea a unique experience.

Let the ceremony begin

Striving for perfection in all these tasks is a continuous and tedious endeavour; one that is nonetheless fulfilling when we are able to present that lush cup of tea to you.